If you walk past the pavement outside the Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital and Research Centre near KBR Park in Hyderabad on a Sunday morning, do not be surprised to see a serpentine queue of over 200 people waiting outside the hospital.
The excitement in the air is palpable, and by 7 A.M., the crowd consisting of the family members of cancer patients undergoing treatment at the hospital, street urchins, homeless people, and the elderly, eagerly look forward to the arrival of Vijay Kumar N, an IT and e-commerce consultant, and his wife.
The two drive down to the hospital every Sunday to feed these people who can hardly afford food or accommodation in the Banjara Hills locality, a warm and hearty breakfast. They have not missed this Sunday ritual for over two years now.
Vijay spent over a decade in London, before returning to the country. Two years ago, a typical Sunday morning became a turning point in his life. He had taken his young daughter out on a ride from Jubilee Hills to KBR Park, and the sight of people with their sick kith and kin on the pavement make his heart ache.
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“I was even more shocked to see the young boy, perhaps six or seven years old, lying on the pavement with a tube inserted in his nose. Upon questioning, I found out that he had lung cancer. His parents were running from pillar-to-post to get him admitted to the hospital. This sight gave birth to the idea of helping these people,” he told the Times of India.
When Vijay discussed his encounter with his wife, she quickly came up with the idea of cooking food and serving it to the people. Armed with cutlery, she worked her way through preparing a simple but delicious breakfast of upma, a nourishing savoury porridge. The couple then returned to the pavement and distributed the food. Starting with a modest number of 10, the duo today feeds over 200 people every Sunday.
“Feeding breakfast to the needy makes it a happy Sunday for my family. Just by feeding them breakfast, we cannot bring smiles on their faces, but it is a small effort on our part to do something for them,” he told the publication.
We salute the couple and their efforts to make life a little easier for people who deserve help the most.